What is Osteoporosis?

What is Osteoporosis?
Dr. Dan Albright, an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina explains osteoporosis using models of normal and abnormal bones. He explains why osteoporosis is a serious condition and why we should pay attention to our bone health. Summary of video: …

Dr. Dan Albright, an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina explains osteoporosis using models of normal and abnormal bones. He explains why osteoporosis is a serious condition and why we should pay attention to our bone health.

Summary of video:

What is osteoporosis and why does it matter?

The goal is to make the bones stronger so they don’t break. Fractures can be crippling.

Osteoporosis. “Osteo” is bone. “Porosis” is porous which means porous bone, less bone, weaker bone.

It happens to everybody. It oftentimes happens to menopausal women after age 50. Losing estrogen and hormones results in bone mass going way down. Women break a lot of bones earlier than men.

Vertebrae bone is solid. It has trabecula, cancellous bone. This is normal. Then there’s osteo bone. That’s porous bone and as the bone becomes porous, it cracks easier.

Most fall or twists do not hurt a 20-year-old, but the same fall or twist in a 70-year-old with porous bone will result in a broken hip, wrist or spine. Orthopedic surgeons see it every day in the their offices.

Bone is a beautiful tissue. It regenerates itself but if there’s not enough mass in the bone it’ll fracture. With age one loses tissue, calcium and bone and the bone becomes brittle. The whole goal is to prevent a hip
fracture. That’s the big one. Hip fractures put more senior citizens in hospitals, in surgery, and in nursing homes than any other ailment.

Spine fractures happen a lot. This is particularly seen in women with osteoporosis. Their spines getting bent as they get older. That’s when a vertebra crushes down resulting in a wedge fracture. Another common fracture the wrist.

Osteoporosis matters. Everyone experiences thinning bone with age. Being aware of it and taking action to prevent fractures is important for everyone. And probably most importantly – see visit a medical doctor and get your bone strength checked.

For more information, contact Dr. Dan Albright at 919-863-6808.